Jorge Lorenzo: No number one at Yamaha in 2013

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Jorge Lorenzo has denied he will be Yamaha’s clear number one rider in 2013 with preferred treatment over rival Valentino Rossi.

The Spaniard will renew hostilities with Rossi from inside Yamaha’s factory garage after the nine-times world champion penned a two-year deal to be back on a YZR-M1 next season.

There has been plenty of debate in the paddock about how Rossi will handle being a number two rider for the first time in his career next season.

The Italian was the clear number one rider when Lorenzo arrived at Yamaha in 2008. But Lorenzo said he won’t feel like he will be number one in 2013 and he told MCN: “I never felt like I was the number two in Yamaha to be honest. It doesn’t matter to me what people say about a number one or number two rider. You have the same bike as the other rider and that is going to be the same in the next two years.”

Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis has made it clear too that Lorenzo and Rossi will be afforded the exact same support and he said: “Although Jorge has the number one tag on him because of his current performance and his future potential we will treat both riders equal. They will get exactly equal support, exactly equal attention and equal availability of parts.”

Having won the 2010 world title, Yamaha has insisted that Lorenzo will lead development of the ’13 factory YZR-M1.

Yamaha YZR-M1 project leader Kouichi Tsuji said in Brno last weekend: “Honestly speaking for the development, the first point is Jorge. He will decide the direction of the bike. You know this year for example both Jorge and Ben (Spies) made our bike better and better. I hope on the future the same situation but Jorge will lead bike development. But Valentino will assist to have correct direction I believe.”

Lorenzo tested Yamaha’s new 2013 YZR-M1 prototype in Brno on Monday but gave a lukewarm reception to a new chassis, which he said lacked stability under hard acceleration.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt